Updated: October 5, 2021 4:41:25 am
“Changes are being seen in every field” and “there is a great need for research and development in futuristic defence technologies”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.
Amid changes in technology and increasing global security concerns, it is imperative that the Indian defence industry focus on modernisation of the military and look at niche technologies, the minister said. He said different labs of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are working on technology in areas such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology.
In his address after conferring DRDO’s Dare to Dream and Young Scientist awards, Singh said, “Our aim is to equip our forces with the latest machinery to deal with any challenge.” He said that “today changes are being seen in every field,” including trade, economy, communication, strategic affairs and military power. “These changes happening around the world are increasing the security requirements of the nations equally.”
“Due to the importance of global security concerns, border disputes and maritime affairs, countries around the world are today focusing on their military modernisation and the demand for military equipment is increasing rapidly,” he said.
DRDO young scientist labs and advanced technology centres, he said, have started working in areas such as nanotechnology, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and robotic technologies.
Three products and systems developed indigenously by DRDO were also handed over to the armed forces, including a new state-of-the-art video processing and switching module for the Air Force, a new sonar performance modelling system for the Navy, and a bund blasting device Mk-2 for the Army, which will be used to enhance the mobility of mechanised infantry during wartime.
“Today there is also a need to develop dual use technologies, so that both military and civil can benefit from it on a large scale. To provide state of the art equipment to our Armed Forces, special focus will be on research and development. Today, as there is talk of technology transfer from DRDO to industry, in the coming times, efforts should be made that our industry does not need it.”
The minister also called for increased participation of the private sector in the defence industry. Historically, Singh mentioned, “we see the presence of private sector in the Indian defence industry was very low”. He cited the availability of capital and technology, long gestation period as some of the reasons.
Due to the measures taken by the government in the last few years, Singh said, there is “an increase in the number of contracts being awarded to the indigenous defence industry,” and the country, he said, has “moved rapidly in the direction of not only meeting our domestic security needs, but also exporting technology and equipment to foreign countries”.